This past Friday night our company commandeered the Six Flags over Georgia amusement park from 6:00 pm until midnight. I think at last count nearly 7,600 tickets were sold for the ‘Family FUN Night at Six Flags’ including the five for Debbie and me, our son Wesley and wife Julie and granddaughters Caroline & Charlotte (who actually got in for free, being just 2-years old). I had to arrive a little early to set up a small display booth for our program, as did several of my counterparts on three other programs, and the kids were running a little late so our evening didn’t really get started until 6:30 pm.
The first order of business was getting Debbie, Julie and the kids fed while Wesley and I tried out the new Dare Devil Dive Coaster. While the lines at the park were definitely shorter than what we’d experience on a typical non-exclusive event, we still spent nearly 30 minutes in line for what turned out to be about a 1-minute ride. It was “interesting” but really didn’t knock my socks off. I think they may have tried to pack too much into a really short space and it really beat you about without building any anticipation beyond the initial climb and drop.
After that it we collected the girls from the restaurant and headed off to the Haunted Mansion… a kids ride where the real attraction for adults was the cool air that you enjoyed while boating through the enclosed attraction. It was about 98° when we arrived at the park around 5:15pm, and didn’t get much cooler when the sun went down, hence the long lines that eventually developed at the Haunted Mansion. Caroline (5) liked it (dinosaurs and dragons are hard to tell apart and Caroline loves dinosaurs), Charlotte (3 next month), not so much. I thought it was a bit hokey and in need of an update, but through the eyes of little kids I’m sure it works just fine.
I had to head back to the program display booth at 8:00 pm to close it down and it wasn’t an easy task as we still had a pretty good stream of kids and adults lining up to get litho’s and posters of our beloved C-130 Hercules signed by one of our company test pilots. Our test pilots are always a huge hit at any gathering, and this was no exception. Although, I do have to share that our Chief Test Pilot asked if his crew could come to the event in their street clothes vs. flight suits given they’d be headed off to enjoy the park with their families once they finished signing lithos at 8:oo pm. While I wanted to say sure, I had to take a step back and remind Brett that, unfortunately (noting flight suits are hot), pilots are like NASCAR drivers and super heroes… without the flight suit kids have a hard time recognizing what it is about what they do that makes them so special! Anyway, we were able to ‘close it down’ around 8:20 pm, and after that I high tailed it back to the kids rides area so I could catch the girls on some of the rides.
While I was gone Caroline & Charlotte had a ball riding the swings, airplanes, carousel and convoy trucks a couple of times while the big girls — Debbie and Julie — went off and rode the Dahlonega Mine Train roller coaster.
Once I was back, we had to go and search out the Thomas the Train ride and playground. I’m thinking the playground may have actually been the real hit of the evening. Me, I liked the train because I was finally able to sit down and relax for a few minutes.
After the playground there was just enough time and energy left in me to join Wesley for a ride on Goliath, which truly is an awesome roller coaster that checks all of the boxes for excitement. We rode in the last row of the coaster and it was wicked-fun (someone else’s video)
However, the last, last ride of the evening was Julie’s favorite: the Log Jamboree. I decided to sit that one out, as did Debbie, but the kids and grandkids had a ball… got soaked…. and got their pictures taken. By then it was about 10:o0 pm and we were all pretty well-worn out and called it a night. The event tickets also came with “bounce back” passes so the kids will have the opportunity to go back to Six Flags on any one of the next three Sundays if they so choose. A pretty good deal all around.
Debbie and I wrapped up our evening by stopping off at one of our favorite two restaurants, Olde Towne Tavern & Grill as I’d skipped dinner and was in need of something to eat… and a beer. We arrived at about 10:55 pm and our server quickly surmised we were interested in food and got out pizza order placed just before the kitchen closed at 11:00 pm. That was probably one of the best pizza’s I’ve had at Olde Towne… ever! A great way to cap off a great day.